As US political figures point fingers at each other for the current carnage raging in Iraq, it looks as though both sides are willing to settle on Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as the ultimate fall guy. Headlines reading; Maliki must go are popping up everywhere. He governed badly “they” say. He shunned the Sunnis “they” say. He became a monster “they” say. He is the reason for ISIS “they” say.
While everything “they’re” saying about Nouri al-Maliki is true, its also true, that the now reviled leader’s governing style should’ve been a surprise to no one. The United States should have anticipated, once given the means and the opportunity, the motive for a little sectarian payback would’ve been irresistible. To expect Nouri al-Maliki, or any Shiite Iraqi to govern benevolently, or even evenhandedly was a stretch of a fool’s imagination.
One line of reasoning would lead one to presume the United States felt it important to show Iraq to be a success as quickly as possible. Under those circumstances, any jerk will do. Another possibility could’ve been; the United States just needed a pasty to slap a title on until an honorable exit could be made. In this case Nouri al-Maliki fit the bill.
Still, either way you cut it, too little attention was given to the degree of Nouri al-Maliki’s integrity. Leaving Iraq in the hands of anyone with less than a superior character, an unwavering moral compass and ability to see the big picture was the ultimate blunder.
Iraq Pays the Price for Payback
After living under the reign of Saddam Hussein and his brutish Ba’ath crew, the Shiite majority was looking for revenge, not reconciliation. Every time an Iraqi Shiite looks in the mirror and sees the scars left by the Sunnis, that sight has to reignite the horrid memories of the recent past.
For some, a lifetime of phycological counseling won’t even come close to alleviating the pain. Simply because surface hostilities had been suppressed (somewhat) by the so-called surge, did not mean the undercurrents of retribution wasn’t percolating in the hearts of those still hating.
Bottom line: Perhaps finding himself suddenly governing a nation of seething anger and having the power to repay his tormentors for past atrocities was just too much for the small minded shortsighted Nouri al-Maliki. Perhaps he was too filled with hate to realize, Payback just lead to Payback!